Anneliese Dodds MEP

The South East's Voice in Europe

Enjoy a year studying or working abroad

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Sixth form students across the UK will be getting their A-Level results today, and I wish everyone waiting to find out their grades the best of luck.

I’m sure the thoughts of many will be turning to their future at one of the South East’s brilliant universities, and the exciting prospect of studying a subject they love. But what many soon to be university students may not know is that you can spend up to a year of your degree studying or working in another EU country thanks to the EU’s Erasmus programme.

This programme, which has been running since 1987, gives thousands of students every year the opportunity to study or work in another EU country as part of their degree. In the 2011/2012 academic year, universities in the South East got over €5 million in grants from the Erasmus programme, which is funded by the EU, helping almost 2,000 students in the South East to cover the extra costs of going on a year abroad. A key part of Erasmus is that students don’t have to pay extra tuition fees if they study at another university in the EU as part of the scheme.

The Erasmus programme is a fantastic opportunity to experience living in another EU country, and it has long term benefits too - students who have spent a year abroad on Erasmus programmes have an unemployment rate 23% lower than other students.

I hope everyone getting their results today has something to celebrate – and for those heading to university – don’t rule out spending a year abroad in mainland Europe – with the Erasmus programme it’s cheaper and easier than you think!

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